Utah Utes football: Failed fake punt attempt changes game, leads to Utes loss to Arizona, 34-24

Published: Saturday, Nov. 17 2012 11:35 p.m. MST

Utah players get warmed up prior to Utah and Arizona playing Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Rice Eccles Stadium.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utes are left with a sour taste in their mouths after they let a third-quarter lead slip away from them. And with it slipped their season and chances of going to a bowl game for a 10th straight season.

Utah couldn't hang on and fell to the Arizona Wildcats, 34-24, Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium. With the defeat, the Utes fall to 4-7 and cannot qualify for a bowl game.

This game was a "must win" for the Utes, and they came up short.

It all changed on one of Utah's several fourth-down conversion attempts.

At the end of the third quarter, the Utes had a seven-point lead and the momentum was in their favor. However, they allowed Arizona to score on the first drive of the fourth quarter to tie the game, 24-24.

Utah found itself facing a fourth-and-six. Instead of punting, the Utes put Sean Sellwood on the field to fake the punt and throw to Mike Honeycutt. The pass was complete, but well short of the first down.

It was the start of Utah's downfall.

Arizona scored an easy touchdown on its next drive and then sealed the victory with a field goal near the end of the game.

Utah finished with 449 total yards and had more time of possession, but its fate was determined by converting only 1-5 fourth-down tries.

Arizona's running back Ka'Deem Carey finished with 204 yards and one touchdown to help lead his team to victory.

Whitney O'Bannon is currently a new media sports intern for the Deseret News.

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